Nyaungshwe isn’t on the lake itself, but is the main centre. We rent bicycles and go for a ride 11 KMs down the lake to the village of Maing Thauk.
On the way is the Red Mountain winery. Quaffable vino produced by a French winemaker. We purchase three bottles to support the local economy.
Maing Thauk has a long boardwalk leading to the floatier bits of town.
On the left of the boardwalk above, you can see floating gardens of tomatoes. Having enough water is seldom a problem.
Because there isn’t any solid ground on the shore, people live in houses on stilts.
Next day, we hire a longboat and driver for a tour of the lake.
We visit villages with more stilt houses.
At the Nam Hu market, we see distinctively-garbed women from the Pa’O tribe.
Also at the Nam Hu market was this extremely old woman, negotiating for some cheroots.
We stop at the Phaung Daw Oo pagoda, where there are Bhudda images so covered with gold foil, they are no longer recognizable as figures, but look like gold-plated soft ice cream. (No photos – I thought it might be disrespectful.)
More Pa’O women at the Nam Hu market
Canals run throughout the village.
Elsewhere on our boat trip, we visit a cheroot workshop. Many Burmese regularly puff on these all day long.
Further down the lake, we see a weaving workshop the makes cloth from the fibres of lotus stems.
Besides lotus fibre cloth, they also weave silk and cotton. I purchase a longi for myself.
Sight or Insight of the Day
Cycling to Maing Thauk village, we passed this architecturally-interesting private school.
On the return trip to Nyaungshwe, school was just letting out. Down the road is a public school. Parents came for their children on foot, on bicycles, or on scooters. Meanwhile, all the kids at the private school were picked up in private cars. It was like being in Manhattan or Toronto. No walking for these snowflakes!